There has been a lot of big news out of Southwest Ohio over the past few weeks as summer camps have been in full swing. Here is a look at several of the big stories from the region.
FIREWORKS WILL COME EARLY
The wait will soon be over for one of five college programs as Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard has announced he'll make his college decision on July 2nd just before the big summer holiday. Will the four-star linebacker pick Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan or Iowa? Fans will have an early fireworks show when Hilliard makes it known as to where he plans to sign his letter of intent with in February.
IRISH INVADE SOUTHWEST OHIO
Notre Dame pulled in two of the top prospects from the region on back-to-back days getting a verbal commitment from Kettering Archbishop Alter defensive back Nick Coleman followed by the pledge of Cincinnati Moeller four-star defensive tackle Elijah Taylor.
WILDCATS CONTINUE TO PROWL
Kentucky continues its strong recruiting presence in the region with the pledge of West Chester Lakota West offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei. While Asafo-Adjei is the first in the 2015 class, he'll join seven other players from the region in the fall of 2015.
PANTHERS BACK IN THE REGION
Another prospect from Kettering Archbishop Alter also made his college decision as defensive tackle Kraig Howe gave Pittsburgh his pledge over Northwestern, Marshall, Iowa State, Boston College and Illinois to name a few. Pitt continues to work the region taking a player here and there to fit their needs.
BEARCATS FIND GOLD IN BACKYARD
Do not be surprised in a few years if you hear a lot about West Chester Lakota West wide receiver Braxton Neal who committed to Cincinnati. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound receiver was impressive in summer camps having run 4.5-4.6 forties and showing great hands and body control.
The Bearcats also pulled in camp testing champion Bryce Jenkinson out of Greenville High School who opened eyes with two great camp performances at Cincinnati and Michigan State that saw the 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker post a 40 inch vertical jump to go with his 4.45 forty times.
Also joining the group was Cincinnati Moeller tight end Doug Bates giving the Bearcats more of a local flair that some critics felt has been missing.
BRONCOS GO FOR SLEEPERS
Western Michigan pulled in commitments from two of the region's biggest sleepers as Loveland wide receiver Giovanni Ricci and Lakota West defensive end Donte Horton both pulled the trigger soon after earning offers from the Broncos.
Don't be fooled, both players have special skill sets they bring to the field with Horton being under the radar because of missed playing time last season.
FALCONS USE LOCAL WEAPON
College football program are always looking for a niche to help them in recruiting an area and Bowling Green is no different as they new head coach Dion Babers hired former Huber Heights Wayne and Cincinnati Bearcats defensive back Mike Mickens to recruit the region. The plan has already started to show benefits as the Falcons earned the pledge of Trotwood-Madison safety/linebacker Ferrod Gardner and have a few more targets they are after.
SMALL SCHOOL SPEED DEMON AT TWO
Oxford Talawanda running back/defensive back Maurice Thomas opened eyes at Ohio State with his 4.3 forty. Soon, Thomas used camps at Bowling Green and Kent State to earn his first two scholarship offers. With a few more camps possible for Thomas, we would not be surprised if a few more programs come calling.
BUCKEYES JOIN THE RACE
Ohio State wasted little time in offering Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy lineman Prince Sammons after he spent three days on camps attending summer camp. The raw but physically gifted Sammons has all the potential to become a player who could make a paycheck in the future if he can continue developing his skill set. Keep in mind, Sammons has only played one year of organized football and the sky is the limit.
NATIONS TOP TIGHT END
That will be the question asked about 2016 tight end Jake Hausmann out of Moeller High in the coming months. Hausmann was solid at Ohio State camp and will be in high demand by several programs going forward. While some may already have Hausmann a Buckeye, things are far from over as he continues looking at programs across the country.
DOWN TO FIVE
Cincinnati Elder 2016 offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer has narrowed down his list to five schools leaving Notre Dame, Ohio State, Duke, Northwestern and Boston College fans watching his next move. Could a new team enter the race changing his plans? We should hear more in the coming weeks on this subject and if the interest is enough for Kraemer to add a new school to his list.
MICHIGAN TAPS TROTWOOD AGAIN
Back in the 2008 class, Michigan pulled in three of the top players out of the Trotwood-Madison program with the signings of tight end Brandon Moore, wide receiver Roy Roundtree and running back Michael Shaw. Last year the Wolverines pulled in defensive back Reon Dawson late in the process. Now, Brady Hoke and his staff have tapped back in to the Rams program getting the pledge of 2016 quarterback Messiah deWeaver.
HARRISON ZIPS HIS PLEDGE
Some were surprised when new broke Dayton Chaminade Julienne 2016 quarterback Jacob Harrison quickly gave his pledge to Akron. However, after talking with one of the top prep offensive threats in the region, Harrison knows his style of play fit perfectly with what Terry Bowden wants to do. Harrison also knows the Mid American Conference has produced its share of NFL signal callers in the past.
2016 QUARTERBACKS HIT CAMP CIRCUIT
The region is stacked with possible Division One signal callers as Elder High quarterback Peyton Ramsey has added an offer from Illinois and Springboro's Elijah Cunningham added one from Akron before Jacob Harrison issued his pledge. But we don't stop there as Saalih Muhammad and Nick McCaughey (Springfield) along with Zach Larkin (Badin HS), Hunter Krause (Fairfield) and Danny Naylor (Xenia) have all hit the camp scene. However, the two names to keep an eye on in the region might well be Thomas MacVittie (Moeller) and Nick Watson (La Salle) as both have impressed college coaches when they've been seen.
Lebanon High 2016 linebacker Jango Glackin may not be the best known out of the 2016 linebackers, but he currently is on a hot streak picking up his seventh scholarship offer. So far Glackin has seen offers from Buffalo, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Akron and Kent State. Having also had solid camps at Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan State, we expect Glackin to be one of Ohio's most sought after prospects before all is said and done.
WARRIORS HAVE ANOTHER ONE
It should be no surprise that Huber Heights Wayne has another Division One prospect as 2016 defensive back Tobias Gilliam added his first two offers from Bowling Green and Toledo at the latest Ohio State camp.
MYERS EXPRESS KEEPS ROLLING
The train keeps a rolling for Miamisburg 2017 offensive lineman Josh Myers as he added offers from Notre Dame and Michigan State. While that feat in itself would be newsworthy, the fact the two programs join a list that includes offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Illinois, Bowling Green, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee and West Virginia is even more impressive. Not a bad list for a kid that just finished his freshman year of high school. Myers stresses he has no favorite at this time with Kentucky fans hoping he'll follow his father and brother to Big Blue Nation.